As esports continues to grow and expand across the world, the European Parliament (EU) has passed a resolution to create a long-term strategy to support and fund esports and the video games industry in Europe.
In recognising the value of esports, the European Union’s legislative body passed the resolution after getting 560 votes in favour. There were 34 votes against the strategy and 16 abstentions.
And although the resolution itself is not binding, a representative of the European Commission – the EU’s executive body – expressed their intention to take action amidst the parliamentary session.
EU legislators now have to decide on how to implement the Parliament’s resolution which will then pave the way for forming the EU’s strategy for esports and the video games industry. Despite having the liberty to decide who this strategy will be implemented, legislators often follow the Parliament’s proposals.
Pegging esports alongside conventional sports
In a conversation with Esports Insider, Nepomuk Nothelfer, a legal researcher who was commissioned to conduct the reports on esports for the EU said, “The resolution alone is a gigantic recognition of gaming and esports. [But] I get the feeling the real work will begin after the resolution. Most of the time it’s before the resolution because now you have a plan, and you can act on it. But in esports it’s still so complicated. I get the feeling that the stages afterwards will take a long time.”
In the past, the EU has only provided limited support for domestic video game production with some funding being available via the Creative Europe and Horizon Europe programmes. However, the resolution went on to criticize these existing funding efforts and labelled them insufficient.
The new resolution is indeed a big win for European esports and the video game industry in general because once a strategy has been put in place, video game companies will most likely have access to EU support and funding.